Five heads of district executive bodies of Tbilisi municipality have been summoned by the Chief prosecutor's office for interrogation on the case of switching off the lights of Tbilisi TV tower. As the Deputy Tbilisi Mayor, Irakli Abesadze declared at a news briefing on 5 March, the interrogation is aimed at exerting political pressure on the heads of district executive bodies who are representatives of the United National Movement (UNM).
"It is clear that these quasi investigations and inspections that have intensified with the local elections approaching serve the aim of exerting political pressure and sidelining those people from the election process, who, given their professionalism or work experience, can challenge Georgian Dream candidates in the election process," Abesadze said.
Moreover, according to Irakli Abesadze, five Tbilisi municipal services are now being inspected by the financial police and the city council's revision commission.
Abesadze called on the Georgian government to stop intimidation and political pressure on UNM officials of Tbilisi municipality and instead, get down to performing real work or "at least, allow the Tbilisi Mayor's Office to do its work."
On 20 January, acting Mayor of Tbilisi, Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, said that Tbilisi TV tower lights would be turned off until the city budget had been approved. After the lights were off, the Georgian government accused the Tbilisi Mayor's Office of subversive activity, noting that "such an action is punishable under the Georgian legislation."
The Tbilisi Mayor's Office turned on the lights on the TV tower within several hours. The prosecutor's office initiated the investigation into this case.